Law & Order


SEMA appointed Petra Smeltzer as the association's new director of congressional affairs. Ms. Smeltzer joins SEMA with a broad range of public policy experience. She has a varied government relations background that spans both the state and federal government relations arenas and has substantial advocacy experience working within trade association environments of the energy sector. Her previous positions include working for the American Petroleum Institute, the Electric Power Supply Association and the National Electrical Manufacturers Association. She also served as the federal liaison to Gov. Bob Taft (R-OH) where she advocated energy and environmental issues before Congress on behalf of the state of Ohio.

“Petra brings to SEMA a wealth of experience in government relations, legislative analyses and advocacy, as well as the development and implementation of policy,”  SEMA’s Vice President of Government Affairs Steve McDonald commented. “We are pleased to have someone of her experience to supplement our continuing efforts on Capitol Hill to educate the federal legislature on the impact of our industry on the health of the nation’s economy. The breadth of her knowledge on environmental and business issues of critical importance to the aftermarket will provide SEMA with an effective advocate and a valuable resource in our efforts to protect and advance the aftermarket industry.” 

SEMA maintains an experienced government affairs staff and legal team in Washington, D.C. Responsible for communicating and advocating issues affecting the specialty automotive aftermarket, SEMA’s government affairs office has proven to be an influential and effective force in ensuring the continued growth and prosperity of the industry.

“I am pleased to join an organization with a proven track record of legislative successes,” said Smeltzer, who began her new job on October 15.  She can be reached directly at or 202/783-6007, ext. 19.